Happy New Year! Before we say goodbye to 2012, here’s a look back at year-end results from Billboard’s Christian Music charts. Billboard maintains four charts, two for songs and two for albums. First, the songs:
5. The Hurt and the Healer – MercyMe
4. 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) – Matt Redman
3. God’s Not Dead (Like a Lion) – Newsboys
2. Overcome – Jeremy Camp
…and the song of the year was:
1. Where I Belong – Building 429
Combining all songs by artist, Building 429 again tops the chart, followed by Jeremy Camp, Tenth Avenue North, Newsboys, and MercyMe. “Where I Belong” is the band’s second number one single on the chart, following 2004’s “Glory Defined”.
I suppose we could call 2012 the year of the singalong power anthem. These are hook-heavy songs with massive choruses, and it’s no surprise they did well on radio.
In the modern song-at-a-time download era, it is always interesting to see if the fans of an artist are more likely to download the single or buy the whole album. For 2012, the Billboard Christian Album Chart tells the story.
5. Eye On It – TobyMac
4. God’s Not Dead – Newsboys
3. How Great is Our God: The Essential Collection – Chris Tomlin
2. Wow Hits 2012 – Various Artists
… and the album of the year was:
1. Come to the Well – Casting Crowns
So, airplay and sales of Building 429’s single did not translate to album sales as Listen to the Sound landed at number 27. (Keep in mind the album released in May of 2011.) Casting Crowns has established a highly effective strategy of special deals for pre-buys in Christian bookstores. Combine that with a fanbase that remains quite loyal, and the band whose highest charting singe for the year landed at number 11 had the album of the year.
Combining all album sales by artist, Casting Crowns came in on top again for 2012, followed by TobyMac, Chris Tomlin, Newsboys, and Lecrae. It is noteworthy that all five of the top Christian albums of 2012, along with Lecrae’s Gravity, charted in the cross-genre, mainstream year-end Billboard 200. Come to the Well had the highest impact on the mainstream chart at 81, followed by Wow Hits (130) and the albums by TobyMac (156) Newsboys (172), Tomlin (183), and Lecrae (197).